Lawsuit: Orange County Register failed to pay Los Angeles Times

Some Orange County Register subscribers didn't receive a paper for days after the company switched delivery services in early October. According to the owner of the Register's parent company, Freedom Communications, the change came after The Los Angeles Times, which has contracted to deliver the Register since 2009, "refused to guarantee uninterrupted delivery" of the paper.

However, in a lawsuit filed on Oct. 14, The Times says that the Register has failed to make timely payments since April 2013. The Times reportedly informed the Register that it had 30 days to catch up, and in response, the Register sought other means of distribution. The Times then sued the Register for breach of contract and failure to pay delivery fees. 

According to the lawsuit, the Register owes $2.464 million in fees, but the total damages could be higher than $4 million.

The lawsuit is another in a series of setbacks for the Register and Freedom Communications. In April, Freedom launched the Los Angeles Register, but the paper was shut down in September. Freedom owner and former Register publisher Aaron Kushner pointed to staff restructuring and related payouts as factors reducing the company's available cash.

Sometimes, with the right legal help, contract disputes can be resolved out of court, allowing both sides to minimize the related cost while keeping the primary focus on operations. Other times, however, a breach of contract requires litigation. If you as a businessperson find yourself in a contract dispute, then consider seeking help from a full-service legal team with experience in protecting clients from liabilities.

Our Business and Commercial Litigation overview has more on these matters.

Source: The Los Angeles Times, "Los Angeles Times sues O.C. Register alleging breach of contract," Shan Li, Oct. 14, 2014

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